John Gardner

John Gardner was born 1839 in Washtenaw County, Michigan, the son of Henry (b. 1812) and Elizabeth (b. 1811-1879).

Canadian native Henry married English-born Elizabeth and immigrated to the United States and eventually settled in Washtenaw County, Michigan where they were probably living in 1840. By 1850 Henry was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Putnam, Livingston County where John, the oldest of seven children, attended school. By 1860 John was working as a miller for and/or living with William Reeves, a farm laborer in Boston, Ionia County. His mother and several siblings were still living in Putnam in 1860.

John stood 5’6” with hazel eyes, black hair and a light complexion, and was 20 years old and probably still living in Ionia County when he enlisted in Company D on May 13, 1861 (and was possibly related to Oliver Gardner of Company G; Oliver’s father was Canadian). John was reported as a company cook in July of 1862, as a water carrier in August and he reenlisted on December 23, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Boston, Ionia County. He probably returned home on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864 and returned to the Regiment by the end of January 1864.

In February of 1864 John was reported to be “taking care of public animals,” probably at Brigade headquarters, and was still on detached service at Brigade headquarters when he was transferred to Company A, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. He remained on detached service through July, in September of 1864 he was reported absent sick and he remained absent until he was discharged on June 13, 1865, at Harper hospital in Detroit, for “chronic diarrhea of one year’s standing.”

John listed Putnam, Livingston County as his mailing address on his discharge paper. He died shortly after coming home in 1865 and was buried in Sprout cemetery, Putnam Township, Livingston County.

No pension seems to be available.

His mother and several siblings were living in Putnam in 1870, and by 1880 his father Henry was living in Putnam (listed as a single man) as were his brothers Henry and William.